Some of the best things in life are also some of the most challenging – and if we’re being totally honest, also sometimes the most frustrating.
Consider parenting. I like to say, “I yell because I care.” But the truth is, sometimes when nothing else has worked, it’s all I can think of.
Golf is another great example. Every time I start to feel that some part of my game is coming together, another part goes straight into the toilet. But you know what? Now that I’m playing more and more golf with my son, I don’t mind struggling so much. Kids often see their parents through pretty rosy glasses: parents know everything, can do it all, set down the rules. But golf has a way of humbling everyone, and it lets my son see me completely fall apart sometimes, making bad swings and even worse decisions. He sees me so get so frustrated and yet, never give up. I work to keep my emotions in check and to stay considerate and supportive of him and other players, no matter what. I actually feel like I’m a better dad on the golf course than anywhere else.
If your dad inspires you to work hard – and play better golf – here are a few ideas for golf gifts that will tell him “Thank you!” for all he does.
Southern Tide Sports and Leisure Wear
Ever since my last visit to the slice of heaven called Wild Dunes Resort on the Isle of Palms, SC, I’ve been enamored of Southern Tide golf and sports wear. Southern Tide has been popping up in high-end pro shops all over the Southeast, and their popularity is well-deserved: premium quality, comfortable contemporary styling, and a color palette that evokes laidback afternoons at a Low Country crawfish boil or playing 18 holes.
Tattoo Golf Aloha Procool Hawaiian Golf Shirts
Maybe the dad on your list is less Southern Gentleman and more Al Czervik? Tattoo Golf has introduced Hawaiian shirts designed specifically for golf. The Aloha Procool shirts ($60) come in four patterns/colors and stretch and move with dad’s swing, no matter how athletic or ungainly it might be. If your dad likes to make a statement with his golf outfits, Tattoo is the apparel company for you (and him)!
Golf shoes: PUMA IGNITE PROADAPT and Under Armour Spieth 3
PUMA’s new IGNITE PROADAPT shoes ($200), designed in collaboration with Rickie Fowler, combine stability and comfort like no other shoes on the market. They are not the lightest golf shoe you you’ll wear, but they are rock solid, thanks to the Tornado Cleats and Adaptive Fit System, which provides a snug fit around the ankle with absolutely no blistering. I took these shoes straight out of the box and walked 36 holes a couple weekends ago, in sloppy conditions. My feet felt fresh (thank you Dual Density PU sockliner!)and were completely dry, even after sinking a few times into mud nearly up to the top of the shoe (thank you, premium leather upper!).
The Under Armour UA Spieth 3 shoes ($200) are touted as the most technologically advanced golf shoes on the market. Spieth even documented the design process here. The third generation of the UA Spieth shoe is uber-stable yet light and flexible and also impressively waterproof, all in a modern styling that still feels sort of traditional in its own way. The toe box is a tad narrow, however, so if Dad has wider feet, size accordingly.
Swiftwick Golf Socks
What good are shoes without quality socks underneath them? The best golf socks on the market are by Swiftwick, and my favorites are the new Maxus Zero-Tab golf socks ($11.89). You know, the older Dad gets, the more he will appreciate new socks, and Swiftwick’s offerings are all compression socks that wick moisture, improve circulation, and promise no blisters. Hey, men are pretty simple creatures: Make Dad’s feet happy, and he’ll be happy.
TecTecTec! ULT-X Laser Rangefinder
There are a lot of rangefinders out there, but one of the best combinations of value and features is the new TecTecTec! ULT-X Laser Rangefinder ($249). Paraphrasing Stefon from Saturday Night Live, this rangefinder has everything: a maximum range of 1,093 yards, Flag Seeker vibration alert on flags up to 450 yards away, 6x magnification, slope calculation, and a high-visibility faceplate that slides in and out and changes color when toggling between slope and standard modes so you can be sure you’re tournament-legal. Dad will love the precision and engineering of this growingly invaluable accessory. TecTecTec!? Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes!
Personalized golf balls (e.g., the 6th Generation Srixon XV)
Maybe old Dad would like some monogrammed golf balls? Or balls that say something clever, like, “Congrats! Turn this ball in at the pro shop for $10 shop credit!” That’ll piss everyone off, except Dad, who’ll talk about it until they wheel him out of the home. Head to GolfBalls.com for all your options on nearly any ball make and model you can think of. Personally, the 6th-generation Srixon Z-Star XV is my current premium ball of choice ($40).
Help Dad feel more connected to his clubs by getting them regripped for him with Lamkin Grips. Lamkin’s new additions to their SONAR line include SONAR Wraps, which provide the classic feel of wraps with the Fingerprint technology and Genesis material of the rest of the SONAR line. These features provide exquisite tactile feedback and wick moisture and oils away from your hands. Dad will finally “get a grip,” as you’ve been telling him to do since you were a teenager.
Last but not least, carve out some time to play a round with the Father on your list this year, even if it’s just 9 holes on a par-3 course. Trust me, he will remember those times more than any gift. You know why? Because contrary to the smartass headline above, Dad’s favorite 4-letter word is “love,” and that’s what spending time on the course with him means.